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own nation, and who had been perhaps more, this inference from It, that the bravesi man is not renowned, had they been opposed by any other always in the greatest danger. enemies. The States of Holland, having car- In July he met the Dutch fishery fleet with ried on their trade without opposition, and al- a convoy of twelve men of war, all which he most without competition, not only during the took, with 100 of their berring-busses. And in inactive reign of James I. but during the com- September, being stationed in the Downs, with motions of England, had arrived to that height about Sixty sail, he discovered the Dutch admiof naval power, and that affluence of wealth, rals De Witt and De Ruyter with near the that, with the arrogance which a long continued same number, and advanced towards them; but prosperity naturally produces, they began to in- the Dutch being obliged, by the nature of their vent new claims, and to treat other nations coast, and shallowness of their rivers, to build with insolence, which nothing can defend but their ships in such a manner that they require superiority of force. They had for some time less depth of water than the English vessels, made uncommon preparations at a vast expense, took advantage of the form of their shipping, and had equipped a large feet, without any ap- and sheltered themselves behind a flat, called parent danger threatening them, or any avowed Kentish Knock; so that the English, finding design of attacking their neighbours. This un- some of their ships aground, were obliged to alusual armament was not beheld by the English ter their course; but perceiving early the next without some jealousy, and care was taken to fit morning that the Hollanders had forsaken their out such a fleet as might secure the trade from station, they pursued them with all the speed interruption, and the coasts from insults ; of that the wind, which was weak and uncertain, this Blake was constituted admiral for nine allowed, but found themselves unable to reach months. In this situation the two nations re- them with the bulk of their fleet, and therefore mained, keeping a watchful eye upon each other, detached some of the lightest frigates to chace without acting hostilities on either side, till the them. These came so near as to fire upon them 18th of May, 1652, when Van Trump appeared about three in the afternoon; but the Dutch, in the Downs with a fleet of forty-five men of instead of tacking about, hoisted their sails,
Blake, who had then but twenty ships, steered toward their own coast, and finding upon the approach of the Dutch admiral saluted themselves the next day followed by the whole him with three single shots, to require that he English fleet, retired into Goree. The sailors should, by striking his flag, show that respect were eager to attack them in their own harto the English, which is due to every nation in bours; but a council of war being convened, it their own dominions; to which the Dutchman was judged imprudent to hazard the fleet upon answered with a broadside; and Blake, perceive the shoals, or to engage in any important entering that he intended to dispute the point of hon- prise without a fresh supply of provisions, our, advanced with his own ship before the rest That in this engagement the victory belonged of his fleet, that, if it were possible, a general to the English is beyond dispute, since, without battle might be prevented. But the Dutch, in the loss of one ship, and with no more than stead of admitting him to treat, fired upon him forty men killed, they drove the enemy into from their whole fleet, without any regard to their own ports, took the rear-admiral and anthe customs of war, or the law of nations. other vessel, and so discouraged the Dutch ad. Blake for some time stood alone against their mirals, who had not agreed in their measures, whole force, till the rest of his squadron coming that De Ruyter, who had declared against hazup, the fight was continued from between four arding a battle, desired to resign his commisand five in the afternoon till nine at night, when sion, and De Witt, who had insisted upon fightthe Dutch retired with the loss of two ships, ing, fell sick, as it was supposed, with vexation. having not destroyed a single vessel, nor more But how great the loss of the Dutch was, is not than fifteen men, most of which were on board certainly known: that two ships were taken the Admiral, who, as he wrote to the parlia- they are too wise to deny, but affirm that those ment, was himself engaged for four hours with two were all that were destroyed. The Engthe main body of the Dutch Aleet, being the lish, on the other side, affirm that three of their mark at which they aimed; and, as Whitlock vessels were disabled at the first encounter, that relatos, received above a thousand shot. Blake, their numbers on the second day were visibly in his letter, acknowledges the particular bless- diminished, and that on the last day they saw ing and preservation of God, and ascribes his three or four ships sink in their flight. success to the justice of the cause, the Dutch De Witt being now discharged by the Holhaving first attacked him upon the English landers as unfortunate, and the chief command
It is indeed little less than miraculous, restored to Van Trump, great preparations that a thousand great shot should not do more were made for retrieving their reputation, and execution; and those who will not admit the repairing their losses. Their endeavours were interposition of providence, may draw at least assisted by the English themselves, now made factious by success; the men who were intrust- ' gates, but with his whole feet much shattered. ed with the civil administration being jealous of Nor was the victory gained at a cheap rate, those whose military commands had procured so notwithstanding the unusual disproportion of much honour, lest they who raised them should strength; for of the Dutch flag-ships one was be eclipsed by them. Such is the general revo- blown up, and the other two disabled; a proof of lution of affairs in every state ; danger and dis. the English bravery, which should have induced tress produce unanimity and bravery, virtues Van Trump to have spared the insolence of carwhich are seldom unattended with success; but rying a broom at his top-mast in his triumphant success is the parent of pride, and pride of jea- passage through the Channel, which he intended lousy and faction ; faction makes way for cala- as a declaration that he would sweep the sens of mity, and happy is that nation whose calamities the English shipping ; this, which he hallittle renew their unanimity. Such is the rotation reason to think of accomplishing, be soon after of interests, that equally tend to hinder the total perished in attempting. destruction of a people, and to obstruct an exor- There are sometimes observations and inquibitant increase of power.
ries, which all historians seem to decline by Blake had weakened his fleet by many detach- agreement, of which this action may atford us ments, and lay with no more than forty sail in an example : nothing appears at the first view the Downs, very ill provided buth with men more to demand our curiosity, or afford matter and ammunition, and expecting new supplies for examination, than this wild encounter of from those whose animosity hindered them twenty-two ships with a force, according to their from providing them, and who chose rather to accounts who favour the Dutch, three times susee the trade of their country distressed, than perior. Nothing can justity a commander in the sea-officers exalted by a new acquisition of fighting under such disadvantages, but the imhonour and influence.
possibility of retreating. But what hindered Van Trump, desirous of distinguishing him- Blake from retiring as well before the fight as self at the resumption of his command by some after it? To say he was ignorant of the strength romarkable action, had assembled eighty ships of of the Dutch fleet, is to impute to him a very war, and ten fire-ships, and steered towards the criminal degree of negligence ; and, at least, it Downs, where Blake, with whose condition and must be confessed that, from the time he saw strength be was probably acquainted, was then them, he could not but know that they were too stationed. Blake, not able to restrain his na- powerful to be opposed by him, and even then tural ardour, or perhaps not fully informed of there was time for retreat. To urge the ardour the superiority of his enemies, put out to en- of his sailors, is to ditest him of the authority of counter them, though his fleet was so weakly a commander, and to charge him with the most manned, that half of his ships were obliged to reproachful weakness that can enter into the lie idle without engaging, for want of sailors. character of a geveral. To mention the impetuoThe force of the whole Dutch fleet was there. sity of his own courage, is to make the blame of fore sustained by about twenty-two ships. Two bis temerity equal to the praise of his valour; of the English frigates, named the Vanguard which seems indeed to be the most gentle cenand the Victory, after having for a long time sure that the truth of history will allow. We stood engaged amidst the whole Dutch fleet, must then admit, amidst our eulogies and apbroke through without much injury, nor did plauses, that the great, the wise, and the valiant the English lose any ships till the evening, Blake was once betrayed to an inconsiderate and when the Garland, carrying forty guns, was desperate enterprize, by the resistless ardour of boarded at once by two great ships, which were his own spirit, and a noble jealousy of the hoopposed by the English till they had scarcely nour of his country. any men left to defend the decks; then retiring It was not long before he had an opportunity into the lower part of the vessel, they blew up of revenging his loss, and restraining the insotheir decks, which were now possessed by the lence of the Dutch. On the 18th of February enemy, and at length were overpowered and 1652-3, Blake being at the head of eighty sail, taken. The Bonaventure, a stout well-built and assisted, at his own request, by Colonels merchant-ship, going to relieve the Garland, Monk and Dean, espied Van Trump with a was attacked by a man of war, and after a stout fleet of above 100 men of war as Clarendon reresistance, in which the captain, who defended lates, of 70 by their own public accounts, and her with the utmost bravery, was killed, was 300 merchant ships under his convoy. The likewise carried off by the Dutch, Blake, in the English, with their usual intrepidity, advanced Triumph, seeing the Garland in distress, pressed towards them; and Blake in the Triumph, in forward to relieve her, but in his way had his wbich he always led his fleet, with twelve ships foremast shattered, and was himself boarded; more, came to an engagement with the main body but beating off the enemies, he disengaged bim- of the Dutch fleet, and by the disparity of their self, and retired into the Thames with the loss force was reduced to the last extremity, having only of two ships of force, and four small fri- received in his bull no fewer than 700 shots,
when Lawson in the Fairfax came to his assist-Dover, and fired upon that town, but was ance. The rest of the English fleet now came driven off by the castle. in, and the fight was continued with the utmost Monk and Dean stationed themselves again at degree of vigour and resolution, till the night the mouth of the Texel, and blocked up the gave the Dutch an opportunity of retiring, with Dutch in their own ports with eighty sail ; but the loss of one flag-ship, and six other meu of hearing that Van Trump was at Goree with
The English bad many vessels damaged, 120 men of war, they ordered all ships of force but none lost. On board Lawson's ship were in the river and ports to repair to them. killed 100 men, and as many on board Blake's, On June 3d, the two fleets came to an engagewho lost his captain and secretary, and himself ment, in the beginning of which Dean was carreceived a wound in the thigh.
ried off by a cannon-ball; yet the fight continued Blake, having set ashore his wounded men, from about twelve to six in the afternoon, when sailed in pursuit of Van Trump, who sent his the Dutch gave way, and retreated fighting. convoy before, and himself retired fighting to- On the 4th, in the afternoon, Blake came up wards Bulloign. Blake ordered his light fri- with eighteen fresh ships, and procured the gates to follow the merchants, still continued to English a complete victory; nor could the harass Van Trump, and on the third day, the Dutch any otherwise preserve their ships tban 20th of February, the two fleets came to another by retiring once more into the flats and shallows, battle, in which Van Trump once more retired where the largest of the English vessels could before the English, and making use of the pecu- not approach. liar form of his shipping, secured himself in the In this battle Van Trump boarded vice-adshoals. The accounts of this tight, as of all the miral Pen; but was beaten off, and himself others, are various; but the Dutch writers boarde), and reduced to blow up his decks, of themselves confess that they lost eight men of which the English had gotten possession. He war, and more than twenty merchant ships; was then entered at once by Pen and another ; and it is probable that they suffered much more nor could possibly have escaped, bad not De than they are willing to allow, for these repeat- Ruyter and De Witt arrived at that instant and ed defeats provoked the common people to riots rescued him. and insurrections, and obliged the States to ask, However the Dutch may endeavour to exthough ineffectually, for peace.
tenuate their loss in this battle, by admitting 230 In April following, the form of government in more than eight ships to have been taken or deEngl vas changed, and the supreme author- stroyed, it is evident that they must hav ity assumed by Cromwell; upon which occasionceived much greater damages, not only by the Blake, with his associates, declared that, notwith- accounts of more impartial historians, but by standing the change in the administration, they the remonstrances and exclamations of their adshould still be ready to discharge their trust, mirals themselves; Van Trump declaring beand to defend the nation from insults, injuries, fore the States, that “ without a numerous reand encroachments. “ It is not,” says Blake, enforcement of large men of war, he could serve “the business of a seaman to mind state affairs, them no more;" and De Witt crying out before but to hinder foreigners from fooling us.” This them, with the natural warmth of his character, was the principle from wbich he never deviated, “ Why should I be silent before my lords and and which he always endeavoured to inculcate masters ? The English are our masters, and by in the fleet, as the surest fouridation of unani- consequence masters of the sea." mity and steadiness. “ Disturb not one another In November, 1654, Blake was sent by Cromwith domestic disputes, but remember that we well into the Mediterranean with a powerful are English, and our enemies are foreigners. fleet, and may be said to bave received the homEnemies ! which, let what party soever prevail, age of all that part of the world, being equally it is equally the interest of our country to hum- courted by the baughty Spaniards, the surly ble and restrain."
Dutch, and the lawless Algerines. After the 30th of April 1653, Blake, Monk, In March, 1656, having forced Algiers to sub. and Dean, sailed out of the English harbours mission, he entered the harbour of Tupis, and with 100 men of war, and finding the Dutch with demanded reparation for the robberies practised 70 sail on their own coasts, drove them to the upon the English by the pirates of that place, Texel, and took fifty doggers. Then they sail- and insisted that the captives of his nation should ed northward in pursuit of Van Trump, who, be set at liberty. The governor having planted having a fleet of merchants under his convoy, batteries along the shore, and drawn up his durst not enter the Channel, but steered towards ships under the castles, sent Blake a haughty the Sound, and, by great dexterity and address, and insolent answer : “ There are our castles of escaped the three English admirals, and brought Goletta, and Porto ferino,” said he, “upon all his ships into their harbour; then, knowing which you may do your worst;" adding other that Blake was still in the North, came before menaces and insults, and mentioning in terms
of ridicule the inequality of a fight between ships the name of an Englishman as great as ever that and castles. Blake had likewise demanded leave of a Roman had been." to take in water, which was refused him. Fired In 1656, the Protector, having declared war with this inhuman and insolent treatment, he against Spain, despatched Blake with twentycurled his whiskers, as was his custom when he five men of war to infest their coasts, and interwas angry, and, entering Porto Ferino with his cept their shipping. In pursuance of these orgreat ships, discharged his shot so fast upon the ders he cruised all winter about the Straits, and batteries and castles, that in two hours the guns then lay at the mouth of the harbour of Cales, were dismounted, and the works forsaken, where he received intelligence that the Spanish though he was at first exposed to the fire of sixty plate-fleet lay at anchor in the bay of Santacannon. He then ordered his officers to send Cruz, in the isle of Teneriffe. On the 13th of out their long boats well manned to seize nine April, 1657, he departed from Cales, and on the of the piratical ships lying in the road, himself 20th arrived at Santa-Cruz, where he found sixcontinuing to fire upon the castle. This was so teen Spanish vessels. The bay was defended on bravely executed, that with the loss of only the north side by a castle well mounted with twenty-five men killed, and forty-eight wound cannon, and in other parts with seven forts with ed, all the ships were fired in the sight of Tunis. cannon proportioned to the bigness, all united by Thence sailing to Tripoly, he concluded a peace a line of communication manned with muswith that nation; then returning to Tunis, he queteers. The Spanish admiral drew up his found nothing but submission. And such in- small ships under the cannon of the castle, and deed was his reputation, that he met with no stationed six great galleons with their broadsides farther opposition, but collected a kind of tribute to the sea; an advantageous and prudent dispofrom the princes of those countries, his business sition, but of little effect against the English being to demand reparation for all the injuries commander ; who determining to attack them, offered to the English during the civil wars. He ordered Stayner to enter the bay with his squadexacted from the Duke of Tuscany £60,000, ron; then posting some of his larger ships to and, as it is said, sent home sixteen ships laden play upon the fortifications, himself attacked the with the effects which he had received from sev- galleons, which, after a gallant resistance, were eral states.
at length abandoned by the Spaniards, though The respect with which he obliged all foreign- the least of them was bigger than the biggest of ers to treat his countrymen, appears from a Blake's ships. The forts and smaller vessels story related by. Bishop Burnet. When he lay being now shattered and forsaken, the whole before Malaga, in a time of peace with Spain, fleet was set on fire, the galleons by Blake, and some of his sailors went ashore, and meeting a the smaller vessels by Stayner, the English vesprocession of the host, not only refused to pay sels being too much shattered in the fight to any respect to it, but laughed at those that did. bring them away. Thus was the whole plateThe people, being put by one of the priests upon Aeet destroyed, " and the Spaniards,” according resenting this indignity, fell upon them and beat to Rapin's remark, “ sustained a great loss of them severely. When they returned to their ships, money, men, and merchandise, while the ship, they complained of their ill-treatment; English gained nothing but glory.” As if he upon which Blake sent to demand the priest that increases the military reputation of a who had procured it. The viceroy answered people did not increase their power, and he that, having no authority over the priests, he that weakeys his enem in effect strengthens could not send him: to which Blake replied, himself. “ that he did not inquire into the extent of the “ The whole action,” says Clarendon, “ was viceroy's authority, but that if the priest were so incredible, that all men, who knew the place, not sent within three hours, he would burn the wondered that any sober man, with what courtown.” The viceroy then sent the priest to age soever endowed, would ever have undertaken him, who pleaded the provocation given by the it, and they could bardly persuade themselves to
Blake bravely and rationally answer believe what they had done : while the Spaned, that if he had complained to him, he would iards comforted themselves with the belief, that havo punished them severely, for he would not they were devils and not men who had destroyed have his men affront the established religion of them in such a manner. So much a strong reany place; but that he was angry that the solution of bold and courageous men can bring Spaniards should assume that power, for he to pass, that no resistance or advantage of ground would have all the world know " that an Eng- can disappoint them; and it can hardly be imalishman was only to be punished by an English-gined how small a loss the English sustained in
So having used the priest civilly, he sent this unparalleled action, not one ship being left him back, being satisfied that he was in his behind, and the killed and wounded not exceedpower. This condnct so much pleased Crom- ing 200 men ; when the slaughter on board thu well, that he read the letter in council with Spanish ships and on shore was incredible.” great satisfaction, aud said, “he boped to make | The general cruized for some time afterwards
with his victorious fleet at the mouth of Cales, To this attestation of his military excellence, to intercept the Spanish shipping ; but finding it may be proper to subjoin an account of his his constitution broken by the fatigue of the last moral character, from the author of " Lives three years, determined to return home, and English and Foreign." “ He was jealous," died before he came to land.
says that writer, “ of the liberty of the subject, His body was embalmed, and having lain and the glory of his nation; and as he made some time in state at Greenwich-house, was use of no mean artifices to raise himself to the buried in Henry VII's chapel, with all the highest command at sea, so he needed no infuneral solemnity due to the remains of a man terest but his merit to support him in it. He 60 famed for his bravery, and so spotless in his scorned nothing more than money, which, as integrity; nor is it without regret that I am fast as it came in, was laid out by him in the obliged to relate the treatment his body met a service of the state, and to show that he was year after the Restoration, when it was taken animated by that brave public spirit, which has up by express command, and buried in a pit in since been reckoned rather romantic than heroic. St. Margaret's church-yard. Had he been And he was so disinterested, that though no guilty of the murder of Charles I. to insult his man had more opportunities to enrich himself body had been a mean revenge; but as he was than he, who had taken so many millions from innocent, it was, at least, inhumanity, and, the enemies, of England, yet he threw it all into perhaps, ingratitude.
66 Let no man,
says the public treasury, and did not die £500 richer the oriental proverb, “ pull a dead lion by the than his father left him; which the author beard.”
avers, from his personal knowledge of his family But that regard which was denied his body and their circumstances, having been bred up in has been paid to his better remains, his name it, and often heard his brother give this account and his memory. Nor has any writer dared to of him. He was religious according to the predeny him the praise of intrepidity, honesty, con- tended purity of these times, but would fretempt of wealth, and love of his country. “ He quently allow himself to be merry with his offiwas the first man,” says Clarendon, “ that de- cers, and by his tenderness and generosity to the clined the old track, and made it apparent that seamen had so endeared himself to them, that the sciences might be attained in less time than when he died they lamented his loss as that of a was imagined. He was the first man that common father.” brought ships to contemni castles on shore, Instead of more testimonies, his character which had ever been thought very formidable, may be properly concluded with one incident of but were discovered by him to make a noise his life, by which it appears how much the spirit only, and to fright those who could rarely be of Blake was superior to all private views. His hurt by them. He was the first that infused brother, in the last action with the Spaniards, that proportion of courage into seamen, by mak- having not done his duty, was at Blake's desire ing them see, by experience, what mighty things discarded, and the ship was given to another ; they could do if they were resolved, and taught yet was he not less regardful of him as a brothem to tight in fire, as well as upon the water; ther, for when he died he left him his estate, and though he has been very well imitated and knowing him well qualified to adorn or enjoy followed, was the first that gave the example of a private fortune, though he had found him that kind of naval courage, and bold and reso- untit to serve his country in a public character, lute achievements."
and had therefore not enffored him to rob it.
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE.*
Francis Drake was the son of a clergyman in' by Henry VIII. was obliged to fly from his Devonshire, who being inclined to the doctrine place of residence into Kent for refuge, from of the Protestants, at that time much opposed the persecution raised against him, and those of
the same opinion, by the law of the six articles.
How long he lived there, or how he was supThis Life was first printed in the Gentleman's ported, was not known; nor have we any acMagazine for the year 1740.
count of the first years of Sir Francis Drake's